has a Mangave been hardy for anyone?
Posted by David MD zn 7 on April 25, 2014, 9:12 am
Maybe none of the current varieties are, but I grew the hardy Manfreda for years in my first garden, and there's certainly every reason to think crossing that with a hardier agave should produce a permanent plant.
Still going ahead with my plant to create a scree garden along the stone walls of my house, where the Agave I mentioned a few posts ago will be. Also want to retry some things from my past like Aloe enklonis, and even Echeveria 'Topsy Turvy' which survived a couple mild winters for me. Maybe even throw a cactus in there, which I'm generally averse to! This will be along my west wall; as for the more wind-sheltered south wall, alas it's on the gable end so it doesn't stay as dry. This winter really proved the benefit of dryness in keeping (surprise surprise) dry climate things alive. For example in the newer west wall area, I have a Cistus pulverulentus 'Sunset' which was only slightly damaged. OTOH, out in the terraces the should-be-hardier Helianthemums were almost completely killed by wet soil, covered in snow for weeks, that froze down several inches. I'm finding that in a climate as moist as mine, you can't really get around it with sandy or rocky soils...I had a couple yuccas die in an area that has a sandy soil and raised/terraced bed but is in the open...in the worst circumstances like this winter, the _only_ option is keeping the snow off and the soil dry. Both of those yuccas were rated zn 6 and should have survived this winter's temperatures if nothing else.
Fortunately my Yucca 'Gold Ribbons' was big enough that its head was sticking out above the snow, and it survived. It seems to me snow helps the survival of wet climate plants like small broadleaved evergreens, conifers and camellias, but this year it definitely seemed to hurt dry climate plants. Oh, btw, my Kniphofia northiae is dead...likewise a plant from an area with dry winters.